Justin Gallegos was under the impression the cameras were there for his race. They were actually there for the historic moments after it.
Gallegos, a junior at the University of Oregon and member of the school’s running club, became the first professional athlete with cerebral palsy to sign a contract with Nike. A video crew and Nike’s Insight’s Director, John Douglass, met Gallegos at the end of a recent race where Douglass made the announcement.
The film company Elevation Om edited the following video that Gallegos used to break the news Oct. 6, which is cerebral palsy awareness day.
Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects movement, motor skills and muscle tone. Gallegos wrote in his Instagram post that he was “once a kid in leg braces who could barely put one foot in front of the other” and that the thought of becoming a professional athlete with a disability is like the “thought of climbing Mt. Everest.”
The moment was one of the most emotional ones in his seven years of running.
Gallegos worked with Nike on its Breaking2 campaign, which helps athletes break the two-hour barrier for marathons and chronicled his journey in distance running. In April he ran in his first half-marathon and finished in a time of 2:03:49, just narrowly missing his goal of two hours.
The Oregon-based company also worked with Gallegos on the Pegasus 35 FlyEase, a running shoe that features a zipper-and-strap system to help runners with disabilities.
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